Tom Tailor Trail Metal Markers

Imagine walking down a cool, shaded forest trail in the full sun of summer, with the leaves blowing in the wind, and the distant sound of water trickling down a creek bed. As you walk down this beautiful, scenic trail, you come across a carved wooden totem. It stands freely along the side of the trail, natural in its beauty. A finely carved beaver stands majestically next to a carved tree branch of its own, greeting all passersby with a quiet, solemn stare. The tree stump it stands upon is inset with precision-cut metal artwork, adding further mystique and serenity to the scene. You move on, feeling calm, relaxed, and closer with nature.

Further down the trail you come across another carving, but this time it is a large frog that looks out from atop its carved stump, ever watching, yet seemingly detached from all that stands in front. The frog sits majestically above the carved form of a turtle, slowly climbing the tree stump that holds the raised amphibian. The back of the turtle contains a carved pattern as well as another inset piece of metal artwork. There is a certain calm contentedness resonating from these animals, and they seem to come alive in the wood. Pulling yourself away from the struggling turtle and the watchful frog, you carry on down the trail, humming softly to yourself.

As you approach the end of the trail, you spot another carving further down the forested way. With a haste borne out of curiosity, you approach this new totem. It soon becomes clear that there is a finely detailed carving of an owl perched atop its tree stump base. The owl is facing you with a look that is difficult to read, as its eyes are composed of stunning metal art pieces inset in the wood itself. The carving is so finely cut that the wooden feathers seem to overlap and flow. The owl appears calm and dignified, and this feeling transfers to you as you walk slowly by. You move on with your chin up and your chest out, boldly striding a head, ready to take on whatever comes your way.

This story is indeed a reality, as ten such wood carvings were made in collaboration with First Nations artist, Donald Chretien, and talented wood worker, Jim Menken. Mr. Chretien provided us with sketches of his art that we digitized, laser cut and powder coated. Over forty metal inserts were created from this original Ojibwe-inspired art, which were set into the carvings and then placed every kilometer along the Tom Taylor trail in Newmarket, Ontario (the local media picked up the story, which you can find here).

The beauty of metal on wood is always magnificent, and even more so when the wood has been hand-carved with an artist’s touch. The totems along the trail are just an example of the rich creativity allowed for with custom laser cut metal. Bring out your creative side with metal art by

Trail Markers
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Metal inserts
Photos by: Jason Wighton
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